Have you heard people saying, “I slept well yesterday” or “I always sleep without any trouble” and wondered what would these people do to have a peaceful sleep for 8-10 hours? Ironically, as the author of the post, I didn’t sleep well yesterday as I had to deal with my 2-months old daughter. However, as I had already told you in the post “Sleep for 8-10 hours without guilt“, I can talk about the quality of sleep as I experience good sleeping hours for most of the days. Yesterday was a little aberration due to my little one! So, this post discusses the factors responsible for good quality sleeping hours.
We have seen 8 different factors affecting our quality of sleep. Let us now look at what one should do to have a great sleep. When I was a child, I was told that the brain executes things faster. So, we should be careful as to what we say to our brains. For example, “Don’t do these 8 factors” can mislead the brain as it may tend to do these 8 factors simply ignoring the word “Don’t”. Therefore, it is wiser to use the sentence “Do these 8 factors”. Instead of delving into the 8 factors that affect quality sleep and then explaining how to overcome it, we shall look directly into the 8 good habits for quality sleep.
- Always sleep when you are sleepy
This may sound like a silly sentence but believe me, it has an outstanding outcome. Everybody has a metabolism; it converts our intake of foods and liquids into energy to perform activities. When you cross the sleep time, your body extends its metabolism to support the activities assuming you have some work to do. On the contrary, you feel sleepy but just want to sleep after 30 minutes. Our body hardly recognizes the difference, and so, it initiates an additional metabolism that will renew your energy levels. For this reason, you will not feel sleepy after 30 minutes because your body has initiated enough metabolism to be awake. Therefore, you should never miss your cycle as it leads to a poor sleeping cycle.
I will share my experience from yesterday’s night. I should have published this post yesterday as I planned to write a post every alternate day. My last post was on 11th June 2020, and I was already delayed by 2 days while writing this post on 15th June 2021. Yet, I chose to sleep when I sensed a sleeping sensation around 10 pm yesterday. As a result, I slept well and felt relaxed in the morning.
2. Do physical activities to tire your body
There are many reasons why one should do physical exercises regularly. One of the top reasons is to have a good quality sleep. Our body is used to certain physical activities. Any activity more than the usual ones will require the body to exert physical effort. As a result, your body parts will be tired and need rest. For example, you can walk for an hour instead of watching tv/laptop for prolonged hours. The more you exhaust your body, the more you have a good quality sleep.
3. Do mental exercises to tire your brain/eyes
Many people complain that they are unable to sleep at a particular time at night. For example, they may want to sleep at 11 pm, yet they couldn’t because they don’t feel like sleeping. My suggestion to all those people is to do some mental activity before sleep. For instance, you can read 10 pages in a book. Before you come to the 10th page, you will fall asleep. Reading will create strain in the eyes and tire the brain. Revising vocabulary is another good exercise that you can do before sleep. Overall, you should do the mental exercises just before sleep till the time you feel sleepy.
4. Set up a comfortable sleep environment
Being bitten by mosquitoes is a common problem during winter in many nations. Similarly, when you travel from high temperature to low-temperature areas, new weather conditions would affect your physical state. So, we should be equipped with suitable clothing and accessories to manage our sleep environment. Buy a mosquito net if you are in a mosquito-prone region. Sleep with socks, fully covered clothes, or weather-resistant blankets if you are sleeping in regions with temperatures less than 20 degrees. In total, think about your sleeping environment and improve it to your advantage.
5. Avoid getting up from bed during the night
Unless you have some medical conditions, you should stay in bed during the whole sleep duration. One of the common reasons for waking up in the middle of the night is to go for a pee. If you eat 90 minutes before sleep and drink minimum water to keep your mouth wet, you can avoid pee breaks in the middle of the night. Night time is not the best time to quench your thirst. So, avoid any activities that increase your thirst post-dinner. In case you got up in the middle of the night for some reason, don’t extend the break. For example, some people might have bad dreams and would wake up suddenly. Drink water, realize your situation, and relax. However, don’t watch TV or indulge in smartphone services and extend the break for a long time. In summary, avoid breaks during sleep time. In unavoidable situations, have a minimum break and come back to bed.
6. Never watch TV/laptop/smartphone before bedtime
In the modern world, we are connected with smart devices all around us: Smartphones are our close friend, Laptop is our colleague, and TV is our family member. However, we should avoid all our digital companions at least 1 hour before bed. When you are using the devices before bedtime, your brain thinks that your activities are still going on. In other words, it will support you with all the spare energy and keep you awake. Sooner or later, you will pay for all the lost energy by sleeping extra hours or taking leave from work. Instead, if you avoid smart devices, you can sleep at a fixed time and take complete rest during night time. In a nutshell, don’t use smart devices even if it says it helps you to sleep better.
7. Adhere to a fixed sleeping cycle
Unless your bread and butter comes from a job that forces you to have different sleeping patterns, stick to one sleeping cycle. Fix it with the liberties you need. Whether it is 10 pm or 1 am, adhere to the sleeping cycle. Don’t change it frequently. If you plan to change your sleeping cycle, at least you should have completed 90 days in your present cycle. For example, I followed the 12-midnight bedtime for a long time, and recently, I have shifted to 10 pm bedtime. For the past 3 months, I have been following it.
In summary, we should make a conscious effort to improve our quality of sleep. Depending on the challenges you face, choose your strategy to have a consistent deep sleep.
Thank you for reading the full article. I wish you to have a good quality sleep every day. If you have other suggestions, please share your thoughts in the comment section!